Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

October 4, 2005

Complete Calvin and Hobbes Out Today


Unless I'm wrong, today is the official release date for the massive, complete collection of Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes strip. I'm very much looking forward to my copy and re-reading the strip in its entirety. I'm also quite interested in the reaction. I think what little critical reclamation will happen could go either way, basically because the memory of the strip is so positive that the reality might disappoint. There's an obvious "last great strip" angle for mainstream writers to pursue -- I think I even have one linked up in "quick hits" today -- but it's not going to pushed to the press that way because that would put Andrews McMeel in the position of kicking its current profitable roster at United right in the legumes.

As far as the sales go, there's no way in heck this can tank; I don't see any factor in the production or promotion of this set that would put red on the balance sheet even if it were to end up on every remainder table in America slashed to the price-point bone. The only question is how successful, and the degree of success will depend on how great an appetite people have for this specific collection, especially considering how thoroughly this material has been reprinted in the past. As I hope I pointed out early on, the Far Side collection that made this one possible hit perfectly on that strip's mostly affluent, smart, prone-to-collection audience, while Calvin and Hobbes' appeal during its run was much, much broader but also potentially less obsessive. Although one can never be 100 percent certain, it should do somewhere between really well to outstanding, making Andrew McMeel millions upon millions of dollars.

Editor and Publisher gives a blow by blow of Watterson's introduction, which is the last chance for the publishing event to offer up something new and interesting.

Can someone who has an advance copy .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) that the longer strip story from one of the collections was reprinted? My e-mail has been loopy, so I'm not sure Andrews McMeel received my whiny question or not.
posted 2:15 am PST | Permalink

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